How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in Alabama – AL
Alabama is home to just over 1,200 physical therapy assistants, according to the May 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. As the profession continues to grow at a rate much higher than most jobs (35% in the next eight years), the number of physical therapy assistants in Alabama will only increase. Gadsden, Alabama is home to one of the highest concentrations of physical therapist assistants in the country. While the city of Gadsden only has a population of just under 40,000, there are over 80 PTAs licensed and working there. The Alabama State Board of Physical Therapy requires licensure of all PTAs.
The State of Alabama Board of Physical Therapy requires all physical therapy assistants to pass a physical therapy education program approved by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Prior to completing an Alabama physical therapy assistant training program, a high school education or GED must first be obtained. Additionally, potential PTAs must complete CPR and First-Aid training.
Secondly, the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy requires all PTA license candidates to be of good moral character. “The determination as to what constitutes other than good moral character and reputation shall be solely within the judgment of the board. Licensure shall be refused to any applicant who is of other than good moral character.”
Finally, an application for licensure as a PTA must be submitted to the board, with all required documentation, fees, and examination scores. Required exams include the state jurisprudence examination and the National Physical Therapy Exam. The executive director of the board will review all applications. For more detailed information on the requirements and applications process, contact the State of Alabama Board of Physical Therapy – www.pt.alabama.gov.
Continuing Education Requirements for Alabama Physical Therapist Assistant
The State of Alabama Board of Physical Therapy issues annual licenses to its physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. The license expires on October 1 of the year following its issuance. An annual renewal fee of $50 must accompany a PTA renewal application. Renewal applications for PTAs can be filed online.
Physical therapy assistants in Alabama must also complete at least six contact hours of continuing education each year. PTAs may carry over a total of six excess contact hours a year to count towards the next years required continuing education units. All courses provided by the American Physical Therapist Association and accredited schools programs are approved as acceptable forms of continuing education for Alabama PTAs.